St. Joseph County high school students looking to strengthen their ag-industry resume have a primo enrichment opportunity practically next door at Glen Oaks Community College outside Centreville.
That’s where Angie King coordinates Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) Program, helping students explore their passion for farming in the classroom and through hands-on activity at the GOCC farm and learning lab.
As a member St. Joseph County Farm Bureau, King also encourages her students to start cultivating their agricultural peer network through involvement in Collegiate Farm Bureau. Discussion meets and Harvest for All donation drives give her students a small preview of what Farm Bureau involvement has to offer as their ag careers progress.
Glen Oaks’ Collegiate chapter works with St. Joseph County Farm Bureau to connect students with its own Young Farmer program, offering the Collegiate members even more opportunities through their involvement.
“They learn how to communicate and advocate for their profession,” King said.
IAT programs offer a variety of classes, giving students exposure to facets of the industry that may be new or unfamiliar to them. And sometimes get hooked, like second-year IAT student Deveyn Toner, who changed her direction toward animal science after just one class in the subject.
Back to giving back, the Glen Oaks’ Collegiate Farm Bureau lives up to the charitable ethic the greater organization upholds in programs like Harvest for All.
“Our chapter has worked hard to collect non-perishable food items,” King said, “which are donated to the school’s Campus Cupboard to help meet the needs of their fellow students.”